What difference between Estonia and Finland? From far away it seems: any. Both countries are located on coast of the Baltic Sea, in both countries speak in the Finno-Ugric languages, both countries are known for the temperament… It appears, the difference is. We were convinced of it, having carried out a part of holidays in Tallinn, and other part – to Helsinki.

Generally we went only to Finland: the friends, decided to note New year in an European way, suggested to join a trip and by a feast. However upon purchase of tickets the thought was born: instead of whether to depart to Helsinki through Tallinn? To look instead of one capital at two – tempting prospect. Tallinn: cheerfully

Already at the airport – very small and very cozy – it became clear: the city loves tourists and is ready to welcome them. And even guests from Russia – despite regular political misunderstanding – here treat very warmly. At least, almost all citizens understand Russian (unlike Vilnius) and do not consider for itself shameful in Russian to speak (unlike Riga).

  • Tallinn against Helsinki: where it is more cheerful and more beautiful?
    Martha Aleksandrova, personal archive
  • Tallinn against Helsinki: where it is more cheerful and more beautiful?
    Martha Aleksandrova, personal archive
  • Tallinn against Helsinki: where it is more cheerful and more beautiful?
    Martha Aleksandrova, personal archive
  • Tallinn against Helsinki: where it is more cheerful and more beautiful?
    Martha Aleksandrova, personal archive
  • Tallinn against Helsinki: where it is more cheerful and more beautiful?
    Martha Aleksandrova, personal archive
  • Tallinn against Helsinki: where it is more cheerful and more beautiful?
    Martha Aleksandrova, personal archive
  • Tallinn against Helsinki: where it is more cheerful and more beautiful?
    Martha Aleksandrova, personal archive

However, it no wonder: nearly a half of local population considers our language native, and "nearly a half" more owns it as the second. It, by the way, strongly facilitates life to tourists: Estonian language belongs to other language family, rather than the majority of the European languages therefore to understand at least approximate word meaning and phrases it is not obviously possible – if only you casually do not own any Finno-Ugric adverb.

Anyway, the most part of guidebooks, indexes, plates, the menu is duplicated or in Russian, or in English – difficult therefore to lose the way. As the main sight – the old city of Tallinn – can be bypassed up and down in a couple of hours. However it would not be desirable to hurry especially …

The old city constructed in the XI-XV centuries, perfectly remained: axiomatic narrow small streets, fine lodges under peaked roofs, strict towers, magnificent cathedrals, numerous shops and small restaurants – the look here is where to detain and to be late most. The drugstore on Ratushna impresses, for example, the areas, working already since 1422. The part of the range, by the way, remained since the last centuries: from the dried hedgehogs to the alcoholized ears.

Ratushnaya Square pleases also. On the occasion of Christmas and New year big fair here worked. Hot mulled wine, ginger gingerbread and Santa Claus "lighting" on a scene under Gangnam Style, – that else is necessary to meet a holiday? Unless a sightseeing tour by the two-storeyed bus: for half an hour of such travel it is possible to sight-see not only the old city, but also port – one of the largest in the former USSR.

What to look?

• The Tallinn town hall – a 600-year example of Gothic architecture. The unique Gothic town hall in Northern Europe, "lived" up to now.

• Тоомпеа, or the Revelsky fortress – the bastion which has become the center of modern Tallinn. There is a city card – a tower under the name Long Herman.

• To Olevista – Sacred Olaf’s Baptist church, till the end of the XIX century the highest building of the world.

What to try?

• Fish soup on milk or cream – a traditional dish of Baltic nationalities, at the same time tasty and nourishing.

• Mulled wine on Ratushna of the area – hot alcoholic or soft drink on the basis of wine or a berry juice, perfectly warming in cold.

• Fried almonds – a salty or sharp delicacy which in holidays can be bought practically continually. Helsinki: strange

After noisy and bright Tallinn the capital Finland looked, to put it mildly, sadly. And business was at all in a drizzle (on the bank of Baltic it could be expected). Business was in something another … In lack of a holiday. Apparently, Christmas here was not, and for New year did not wait.

Imagine: On December 31, eight o’clock in the evening, Senate Square – the city center. And anybody. Absolutely empty and quiet square, and only Alexander II thoughtfully looks from a pedestal (this Russian emperor granted to Finland the constitution, for as it was immortalized in bronze).

Became a little more cheerful closer by midnight: Finns noted the moment of approach of New year fireworks – and active alcohol intake. So active that already to two o’clock in the morning it was difficult to find the local who is standing on the own two feet.

The first morning of new year met us empty bottles by which all streets (who were covered will tell that in the Russian cities on January 1 is dirty – that was not in Helsinki), and empty restaurants. Empty – because closed. We hardly found, where it is possible to have dinner, and went on searches of sights.

Those we in the city found exactly three (short of Alexander II): Sacred Nikolay’s Lutheran cathedral, an orthodox Uspensky cathedral and a fortress with the name of Suomenlinn difficult to pronounce. Cathedrals got to Finland from Russia, and a fortress constructed on seven islands, – from Sweden (its second name, Swedish, – to Sveaborg). Cathedrals examined quickly enough and free of charge, and for acquaintance to Suomenlinna spent some hours – and 10 euros as a payment for the ferry.

Where still to descend?

• Sea Life oceanarium. Here, as reports the advertizing leaflet and as it is possible to see the eyes, inhabitants of sea depths from all oceans of a planet are brought together.

• "Linnamyaka’s" amusement park where, actually, the oceanarium also is located. The park does not work in the winter, and here in the summer here it is possible to test itself on four tens attractions oldest of which – roundabouts – already is more than hundred has some.

• Zoo "Korkeasaari". In its territory it is possible to see more than 200 species of different animals, in the winter – also to admire the ice figures created within annual competition.

And already on January 2 we, probably, in the tenth time thought: «As it is good that we visited Tallinn!» – also went home once again to celebrate New year. This time – already in Russian.